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French Food Dictionary


When I first moved to Alsace, I wish I had had a French food dictionary!

There are some things that French 101 (or even French 301) isn't going to prepare you for, like words describing meat and the different cuts of beef and pork.

So I've put this little French restaurant food dictionary together based on what I've experienced and learned about eating out in Alsace.

Feel free to suggest new entries! I'm always updating my little French food dictionary.

You can send me your suggestions here!


French Food Dictionary: Meat


Ways to Describe Cuts of Meat



Boulettes: normally meatballs

Carré d'Agneau: rack of lamb

Charcuterie: smoked and salted meats and sausages

Cervalas: a short fat sausage that tastes like a hot dog

Civet: ragout or stew

Collet: neck

Cote: for "boeuf", rib roast or prime rib

Cuisse: thigh, leg

Echine: spare rib

Emincé: small slices of

Entrecote: rib steak, rib-eye steak

Escalope: for "poulet", chicken breast; for all others, "chop" or "cutlet"

Faux-Filet: sirloin steak

Filet de Boeuf: tenderloin of beef

Filet Mignon: pork tenderloin

Foie: liver

Foie Gras: specially prepared duck or goose liver that tastes very differently from a normal duck or goose liver.

Gésiers: gizzards

Gigot d'Agneau: leg of lamb

Jambon: ham

Jamboneau: ham hock or ham shank cut of pork

Jaret: shank, hock, knuckle

Kassler: smoked and cured pork

Lard: bacon, not always sliced thin like in the US

Lardon: bacon, usually minced

Magret: breast, usually a duck breast

Onglet: prime cut of beef

Os: bone, as in "avec os" or bone in

Paleron: beef chuck roast

Palette: shoulder

Pavé: steak

Panaché: variety as in "a variety of..."

Pied: foot

Poitrine: pork, the cut used to make bacon

Queue: tail

Rognon: kidney

Tranches: slices



Types of Meat



Agneau: lamb or sheep

Biche: female deer

Canard: duck

Canette: young duck

Cerf: male deer

Chevre: goat, usually they're referring to cheese made from goat's milk. I have never seen goat's meat used for cooking anything in Alsace.

Chevreuil: roe deer

Coq: rooster

Crevettes: shrimp

Gambas: prawns

Grenouille: frog

Homard: lobster

Langoustine: prawns similar to lobster

Lieu: pollock, a white fish that can be substituted for Cod or Haddock.

Lotte: monkfish

Merguez: spicy north African sausage

Morue: cod

Moules: mussels

Noix de St. Jacques: scallops

Oie: goose

Pintade: guinea fowl, similar to a pheasant

Poulet: chicken

Sandre: pike perch

Sanglier: wild boar

Truite: trout

Veau: veal

Volaille: chicken or poultry


French Food Dictionary:
Ways of Cooking


A la broche: rotisserie

Confit: candied or crystallized OR cooked in fat (usually its own fat if it has any fat)

Coulis: fruit purée

Croustillant: cooked in oil to the point of being crisp or crunchy

Cuite: cooked, baked, roasted

Daube: stewed, as in "en daube"

En croute: baked in a crust

Farci: stuffed

Feuilleté: enclosed in puff pastry or mille feuille pastry dough

Frite: deep-fat-fried

Fumé: smoked

Galette: thin cake usually cooked in a pan

Matelote: fish stew

Poelé: cooked in a pan in oil

Ragout: stew

Rösti: hashbrowned potatoes

Roti: roasted

Salé: cured or salt cured

Tarte: an pie with no top crust, usually a somewhat thin pie

Tartine: a piece of bread with a paste spread on it

Tiède: warm, warmed up

Tourte: a deep dish pie with a top crust

Vapeur: steamed as in "à la Vapeur"

Velouté: cream of


French Food Dictionary: Spices


Ail: garlic

Aneth: dill

Canelle: cinnamon

Cèpes: mushrooms called porcini, cep, penny bun, steinpilz

Cerfeuil: chervil, it has a lemon anise flavor

Ciboulette: chives

Gingembre: ginger

Girolle: chanterelle mushrooms

Girofle: clove

Herbes de Provence: usually a mix of basil, thyme, and oregano

Laurier: bay leaf

Morilles: morel mushrooms

Muscade: nutmeg

Oseille: sorrel, a tangy herb used in a lot of French cooking

Paprika doux: paprika

Persil: parsley

Poivre: usually black pepper

Raifort: horseradish

Sel: salt


Vegetables


Asperges: asparagus

Betterave: red sugar beet

Celeri: celeriac or celery root

Celeri en branches: celery branches (normally called Celery in the US)

Chou: cabbage

Chou de Bruxelles: brussel sprouts

Choufleur: cauliflower

Cornichon: small pickles

Echalotes: shallots

Epinards: spinach

Haricots: beans as in haricots rouges, haricots verts, etc...

Navet: turnip

Oignon: onion

Paprika: bell pepper

Poireaux: leeks

Pois: peas

Pommes de Terre: potatoes

Potiron: pumpkin


Nuts and Fruit


Agrûmes: citrus fruits

Airelles: cranberries or blueberries

Amande: almond

Cerise: cherry

Coing: quince

Fraise: strawberry

Fraise de bois: wild strawberry

Framboise: raspberry

Genièvre: juniper berry, used in Choucroute normally

Groseilles: cranberries

Quetsch: dark purple plum

Marrons: chestnuts

Merise: wild cherry

Mirabelle: small yellow plum

Myrtille: blueberry

Noisette: hazel nut

Noix: walnut

Pêche: peach

Prune: plum

Pruneau: prune

Raisin: usually it means grape

Raisin Sec: raisin, literally dry grapes


Drinks


Eau de vie: brandy, usually fruit brandy

Kir: white wine with a bit of fruit syrup, it's a popular before dinner drink or apperitif

Kir Royal: sparkling wine with a bit of fruit syrup

Liqueur: a somewhat sweet, mild alcohol

Pastis: a licorice flavored alcohol usually mixed with water and a few ice cubes, a very popular apperitif in France

Pression: draft beer

Vin chaud: hot spiced or mulled wine


More Information on Alsace Food


Alsace and Food

Shopping in French Supermarkets in Alsace

Alsatian Specialties in Restaurants

French Restaurant Food in Alsace

Alsatian Christmas Cookies: Wihnachts Bredele

Your Alsatian Food Questions Answered


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